U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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HEALTHY WEIGHT FOR LIFE

Successful Approaches

Strategies for Healthful Eating

  • Make a commitment to healthful eating.
  • Learn about local healthy weight and healthful eating resources available to you.
  • Set realistic goals for the number of calories you will take in based on realistic weight loss goals (1–2 pounds a week).
  • Eat moderate portions of a wide variety of healthful foods that you enjoy; drink more water and fewer or no sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Keep track of what you eat, and evaluate your progress.
  • Practice mindful eating by being aware of your surroundings and of your mind, body, and spirit.
  • Listen to your body, and eat only until you have had enough.
  • Avoid eating to cope with stress; get physically active instead.
  • Get emotional support, and plan for setbacks.
  • Celebrate your successes with small rewards for the healthful eating lifestyle changes you make.

How to Overcome Some Barriers to Physical Activity

Common Problems Solutions
I feel self-conscious working out in a gym or swimming in a pool. Join an exercise class with people who are in the same shape as you are. Or, try exercising at home; research shows it’s just as good, or better, than working out in a gym.
Exercise wears me out, and it hurts. Set realistic goals, and, again, try exercising with other people in the same shape as you.
I’m too busy to exercise. Turn everyday activities into exercise. Instead of driving everywhere, walk or bike to work, to the store, or to a friend’s house. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk the dog; it’ll help both of you.

Also, try exercising in shorter time frames. Research shows that several short bursts of activity (say, 15 minutes at a time) are just as beneficial as one whole hour of exercise.
Exercise is boring. Mix it up. Do some fun activities, like group dancing.
 Source: Journal of Obesity, 2011, Volume 2011, Article ID 348293.
Photo of Michelle Obama.

The physical and emotional health of an entire generation and the economic health and security of our nation is at stake. This isn’t the kind of problem that can be solved overnight, but with everyone working together, it can be solved. So, let’s move!

First Lady
Michelle Obama

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